Are you thinking of starting your own event agency? There is a huge amount of demand for event agencies and it can be a very attractive career. However, are you really cut out for this kind of business? Do you want to go it alone and start your own event agency? Here are 6 things that you must ask yourself before you take the plunge and start your own event agency.
Will I Be Good at Marketing?
Marketing, marketing, marketing. An essential element of any home based business is the ability to get customers and clients. You will not survive without winning clients! Not only do you need to have great event planning skills, you will also need to be able to market those skills to the public. It may be that when your business is established most of your clients find you by recommendation, but in those early days you are going to have to find some way of marketing your services.
In the digital age you really have to be internet savvy in order to promote yourself as an event planner. Many clients will look on the internet first to find an event planner. If you can’t build your own website invest in someone to do it for you. This doesn’t have to be a huge cost. Just make sure that it is functional, looks good and gives potential clients the information that they need.
Remember that there are different types of marketing:
- A local flood and water restoration company will be different from an…
- ecommerce clothing business which will be different from a…
- brick and mortar business selling guitars
You’ll probably encounter a “guru” with “the way” to market, but it’ll require a lot of trial and error, finding out who your target customer is, and having a unique selling proposition. Marketing, at least in the beginning, will be the hardest part of your business.
Always think of unconventional ways of marketing. You may discover that you find business contacts in the most unlikely of places.
Do I Really Want to Be Self Employed?
Self-employment may sound like a great idea, but do you really want to take this step? If you already have a steady job it may be difficult to cut ties and give up that regular income. Make sure that you have adequate resources so that you can survive for a while during the initial months when work may be slow.
You may also want to try to run your business alongside your job for a while. A lot of event planning work can be completed at the weekends and in the evening. Give yourself some time to build up contacts while you are still earning a regular income from employment.
Do I Have the Time and Space?
To be self-employed you do have to be very disciplined. You will often work longer hours than you would when you are employed – are you ready to commit the time and energy to working for yourself? Being self-employed often means that it is difficult to separate your home and your work life.
Is your home situation likely to be conducive to working from home? You have to have your own space and be able to work without distractions. Trying to look after a toddler whilst building an event planning business is possible, but far from ideal. Event planning can be an excellent business for a work at home parent, but you need to be careful that you are not trying to do everything at the same time. Make sure that you have someone to look after the children when you really need quality work time.
Decide how you are going to be able to commit to enough hours to firstly get your business off the ground, and then be able to put in the necessary time to keep it working.
Make sure that you have a dedicated work space. This could be a separate room or the kitchen table. You have to find what works for you. Some people who work from home find that they have to have peace and quiet in their own office in the house. Others can work in the middle of chaos in the center of the house. Work out which type of person you are and create the home work space that you need.
Do I Have the Qualifications?
If you start your own business as an event planner you do not need any formal qualifications, but some clients may want to see that you have completed some kind of training. Most will likely not mind that you do not have any paper qualifications and look more to your proven skills as an event planner.
If you feel as though you do need an academic background in event planning the most usual path is to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in a hospitality related subject. If you have a degree in a different field, you could consider taking classes in event planning and management. However, most people who start their own business do not have these formal qualifications – only you can assess if you need them to start your particularly home based business.
Do You Want to Work Alone?
Usually when you first start out with your own event agency you will be a one-person operation. It is likely that you won’t have the resources to pay someone else to help you with the work. You really need to know that you will be able to put in the time to successfully start and then sustain an event planning business.
Another consideration is that if you work alone you will not have anyone to bounce ideas off. Event planning is a very creative process which often relies on the input of other people. If you work in an office environment with other event planners, you often get ideas from each other. Remember that if you are working from home it will be more difficult to get inspiration from others.
Do You Have the Right Personality?
You may have all the right organizational skills to start your own event agency, but do you really have the personality to win the clients? When someone turns over their very special event to you to organize they really have to like you as well as having faith in your ability to organize. You have to have the kind of personality which is really going to win people over quickly. Clients are investing a lot of trust in you and they have to be sure that they can work with you, often in stressful situations.